Charlie Rowbottom in action during round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GOLD Coast midfield ace Charlie Rowbottom is racing the clock for its must-win final round match against Essendon after suffering an ankle injury on Friday night.

Rowbottom got her left leg caught awkwardly under a tackle late in the 31-point win over Greater Western Sydney at Heritage Bank Stadium and did not return to the field.

A Suns win over the Bombers in Mackay next weekend would ensure they host an elimination final.

But coach Cameron Joyce said it was too early to know how seriously Rowbottom had been injured.


“I haven’t got an update,” he said.

“It’s her ankle, but I don’t know how bad.

“She wanted to come back on, but that’s Charlie, isn’t it?

“She’s just a competitor and wants to come back on. We’re hopeful that all checks out and she’s right to go.”

SUNS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

Rowbottom had a pronounced limp when she walked into the victorious Suns dressingroom post-match and has eight days to recover.

The news was much more definitive for impressive small defender Elise Barwick who was knocked out in the opening minute of the match following a head clash with Jess Doyle.


Barwick lay prone after the collision and was eventually stretchered off with the aid of half a dozen Suns medical staff.

“It’s a severe concussion,” Joyce said.

“She was on the bench and in the rooms and she’s ok, which is the most important thing.

“She’s in the (concussion) protocols and we’ll just respect whatever that looks like.”


After taking a while to find their rhythm, Gold Coast was far too good for the Giants, with the coach calling it a “professional” performance.

They clobbered the Giants in most facets, notably contested possessions (+30) and clearances (+12) on the back of a dominant midfield led by Claudia Whitfort, Rowbottom and Alison Drennan.

Joyce was still not getting carried away though, saying the Suns’ attention would quickly turn to recovering and preparing to face Essendon for the first time.